The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will on July 12 mark the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s membership of the group. Nigeria was unanimously accepted as the 11th Member of OPEC on July 12, 1971.

OPEC’s Secretary-General, Dr Mohammad Barkindo, made the disclosure in a statement on Tuesday. According to Barkindo, that day has been of historic importance for Nigeria and OPEC.

He said: “To commemorate this landmark date, the OPEC Secretariat has pieced together a special OPEC Bulletin. The edition will look at the history of Nigeria’s relationship with OPEC, including the many giants of Nigerian public service, who have been responsible for the successful five-decade relationship that has evolved with OPEC. We will interview high-level figures and examine and explore other topical issues surrounding Nigeria.’’

Barkindo said that the focal interview would be with President Muhammadu Buhari who he described as an OPEC veteran for over 40 years.

According to him, Buhari has been heavily involved in the organisation’s affairs. “OPEC has been fortunate to benefit from the talent, wisdom and extraordinary capabilities of generations of Nigerian public servants. They have been integral to what the organisation has achieved,” he said.

“Over the course of the five decades of OPEC Membership, Nigeria has been a constructive partner, seeking consensus and always encouraging compromise. The special OPEC Bulletin highlights all these. The unique relationship between OPEC and Nigeria has been mutually beneficial and laden with a plethora of successes. The golden anniversary of Nigeria’s membership is indeed a cause for celebration.

“I very much hope that all Nigerians will celebrate with us, not only reflecting on the past but also considering how we can build a more prosperous future together,” Barkindo added.

He said that the OPEC secretary-general would deliver a keynote address to the 20th Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference to take place from July 5 to July 8.

He said that the conference would make reference to the positivity and longevity of the relationship between Nigeria and OPEC.

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